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Thread: Wisconsin

  1. #57
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    Thumbs up Key Presentations For Invisible Fish #2

    Key Presentations For Invisible Fish #2

    By Capt. Jim Hirt
    Day to day anglers are looking for more action. This past season we came up with a system that increased our numbers dramatically. When your looking for fish suspended in open water this technique will put more fish in the cooler. Fish locators never tell the complete story. The cone of the transducer will not show shallow fish. Most anglers will not work tackle for fish they cannot see. A proven fact is, when motor trolling, shallow fish go around the boat to avoid the turbulence and noise.

    The challenge of the elements.

    Please let us continue with presentations deeper than ten feet. Article #1 of this series explained a dynamite answer for fish in the top ten feet. Reread this article if you can. On Lake Michigan and many large lakes the cold water is always available. Wind and currents move it up or down to create the constant challenge of finding the location of your target species preferred temperature. West wind on the west shore moves warm water out and the cold water from deeper depths moves in. Even in the hottest months of the year we find cold water near the surface. The thermo cline or layer of water with acceptable temperatures for Chinook salmon may be anywhere in the water column. If you don't fish salmon this same system will work on all species.

    Electronics part of the puzzle.

    When the fish locator does not show marks in the thermo cline it may be the fish are going around all the tackle you are running behind the boat. Downriggers and most other tackle set up a field of turbulence and electrical energy directly behind them. This may turn the fish off. My answer to this is determine the layer of water you wish to work and run stealth tackle at that depth to lessen the turbulence and noise. You must know the exact depth where you expect to find your fish of choice. Allow me to tell you of a tool I have used for the last two years with great success. A great product out in the market place for this purpose is the Depth Raider. This unit offers a probe that you connect to a special downrigger cable giving you speed and temp at the lure to depths of 200 feet. This information is sent to an easy to read display. I was very impressed with Curt Kell of Kell Laboratories the innovator of this product. His attention to quality and customer satisfaction sets him apart in the industry. The Depth Raider will set the standard for this type of product for years to come. To get information on this product call Curt at 262-534-2202.

    Back to ten to fifty down presentation

    The depth of your target has been located now let's get on the action! Fortunately I can run over 14 rods, which offers me the opportunity to work water from top to bottom. When the angler is limited to three rods then focus on the targets favorite temperature. If you have additional rods run them above in the warmer water and below in the colder water. To attain precision control of all your lines I recommend two methods. For depths from ten to fifty feet leadcore is the answer. This presentation will work when all others are dead. The basics of leadcore are simple.

    What do you need?

    The most expensive part is the reel. It must have enough line capacity to handle the leadcore line plus Seaguar fluorocarbon and Power Pro 50 pound for a total of anywhere from 300 yards for a half core to 600 yards two cores. I run my half cores or five colors on a reel that will hold 300 yards of 20 pound test. This is the smallest reel a half core will fit on. Line counter reels are not necessary. Leadcore sinks at a rate of 4-5 feet per color. A half core will run about 24 feet deep. By working with these numbers you can get any depth you target. When loading this reel, start with 300 yards of Power Pro 50 pound then strip the lead out of the end of the leadcore and tie a Willis Knot to the leadcore. Finish with a Willis Knot and 30 feet of a 20-pound Seaguar fluorocarbon to a ball bearing cross lock snap. You will need a heavy action 8-foot rod to work with lead. You must run this with a planer board if you are going to use multiple set ups. Snap on your favorite spoon (the Vulcan from Badger Tackle is one of my favorites) and let out all of the line to the Power Pro. Then install your board so it does not release. I usually run three or more off each side of the boat. Very wide turns and low boat traffic are a must to avoid tangles and getting ran over. I set my drags light. When the reel starts to scream, adjust the drag as necessary. Reel in the line until you can reach the board and hand release it. Now the line is clear to bring in the fish. Some of my biggest fish are caught on this presentation.
    The next article will explain effective stealth presentations for depths over fifty feet. You may find the lures discussed in this article at http://www.badgertackle.com Good Luck let's go fishing!! Come back to this Website often to read all my articles. Jim charters out of Milwaukee, WI. with Blue Max Charters. He can be reached at 414-828-1094. Summer I will be out on the lake fighting fish, however, I would appreciate a call over winter to chat about whatever questions you may have or just call and say hello. You may also visit my web site at http://www.bluemaxcharters.com Copyright© 2008, James J. Hirt, All Rights Reserved.

  2. #56
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    Default Key Presentations For Invisible Fish #1

    Key Presentations For Invisible Fish #1

    By Capt. Jim Hirt
    Day to day anglers are looking for more action. This past season we came up with a system that increased our numbers dramatically. When your looking for fish suspended in open water this technique will put more fish in the cooler. Fish locators never tell the complete story. The cone of the transducer will not show shallow fish. Most anglers will not work tackle for fish they cannot see. A proven fact is when motor trolling shallow fish go around the boat to avoid the turbulence and noise.

    All species all conditions

    Trolling for fish is without a doubt the most productive method for all species. This system will be your answer to more fish in difficult cold front and all environmentally challenging situations. I use it everyday with great results. You may never get the skunk again no matter what type of target species you are after.

    Waters missed by many reap huge rewards.

    What's the tip? Always present stealth tackle for fish near the surface and systematically down through the water column. Don't omit the water that appears on your locator to be void of fish. This series of articles will describe several key presentations effective where ever and what ever you fish for.

    Flat line fishing leads to problems.

    Flat line fishing has been around for a long time. It involves tying a lure to your line and letting it out at long distance directly behind the boat. While this may net a few fish the pit falls of this method are many including tangles, no accurate control of depth and an inefficient slow presentation. More refining is necessary for this to become an effective tool.

    Taking it from the top.

    Starting from the surface follow these easy directions for exciting controlled depth fishing. Spring fishing in cold water most often moves fish to the surface to find their comfort zone. For this reason among others always work the surface and here's how. I fish the surface and down to sixty feet with a variety of planer board presentations.

    Tools for productive fishing.

    Some of your choices for boards are, Yellow Birds, Church and Off Shore. I’m a little hesitant to recommend a particular brand because what works for me may not work for you. I will say I find it easier to run a small board on each line rather than a large board with releases on the towline. I do feel it is important to run all the same type to get a presentation that is easy and productive. On all my reels I run a 30-50 pound test Power Pro Super Braid line. For surface and shallow water fishing the clear water leaves you with a visibility factor to consider, and smaller spoons do not run well on heavier test lines. I run a 1/4 to 1/2 ounce bead chain trolling sinker to avoid line twists and get the depth I want. From the sinker to the lure I use 8ft of Seaguar fluorocarbon leader and a small round cross lock snap. The weight of the Fluorocarbon and snap is dictated by the size of your target and lure.

    Make it happen here's how.

    To run this presentation let out about 40 feet of line and attach the planer board. Once the board is attached, carefully lower the board into the water and let out enough line to allow room for more boards. The boards are directional for running on the port and starboard side of the boat. Boards should be spaced about 30 feet apart. When the fish hits, the board slides down to the trolling sinker. With the sinker in line, it will not knock the fish off as it would if it ran down to the lure. Lures you run are all about the amount of light, baitfish size and the size of fish you are looking to catch. Mix it up! The Vulcan and Reaper regular size has been a consistent producer for salmon and trout. When a fish hits, the board releases and it will drop back behind the boat. Land your fish and reset this board by letting out enough line to allow the board to fly back into the same spot it came from. Three or more boards can be run on each side with good success. This rig will work when you want to cover the top 10 feet. The next article will explain effective stealth presentations for deeper water. You may find the lures discussed in this article at http://www.badgertackle.com Good Luck let's go fishing!! Come back to this Website often to read all my articles. Jim charters out of Milwaukee, WI. with Blue Max Charters. He can be reached at 414-828-1094. Summer I will be out on the lake fighting fish, however, I would appreciate a call over winter to chat about whatever questions you may have or just call and say hello. You may also visit my web site at http://www.bluemaxcharters.com Copyright© 2008, James J. Hirt, All Rights Reserved.

  3. #55
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    Default Go To Fishing Lures For Fall And Winter

    Go To Fishing Lures For Fall And Winter

    By Capt. Jim Hirt
    For years I have investigated through trial and error to find bait for all species of fish in all conditions. Twenty plus years of tournament and charter fishing has led me to one conclusion. There is no one bait that will take you through the year with all variables of weather and mood of the fish. In this quest I found it would take a variety of lure actions to be successful. Allow me to help you approach each season of the year and weather conditions with the optimum tool for productive fishing. I fish salmon and trout more than any other species, however, these techniques and variables apply to all fish that go through continuous environmental changes. In the last article spring and summer tips were discussed, let's continue throughout the balance of the year.

    Warm water of the fall season offers split decision.

    Fall can be tough with water temperatures above the active range of most fish. I approach this time of the year with twin presentations. Most of my fishing is motor trolling and in this scenario half of my twelve rods are set up in an aggressive pattern of large spoons. With the other six baits I pick and peck at fish with a variety of colors in three inch and smaller spoons.

    Color can be key for consistent action.

    Color is critical here work with color based on the amount of light as discussed in the last article. Remember bright lures for cloudy water or bright light. Silver or darker lures in clear water on overcast days.

    The game plan for casting or jigging.

    For those of you who don't troll try casting with a larger spoon to start and go smaller if necessary in a stop and go action. Work the shallow water in low light and deep water in bright conditions. The small Vulcan spoon has been hot for anglers casting or jigging. The glow in the dark colors offered on the Vulcan is getting great reviews.

    Winter fishing may be hot or cold.

    Location is the real question for the winter season. The water temperature changes dramatically over the course of winter. Changes in temp move fish not only up and down in the water column, but from shallow to deep water. Try the small lures in shallow water in a post spawn or pre spawn scenario. However large spoons like the Reaper magnum will trigger spawning fish. Knowing your target location will increase your productivity. Move, move and move again don't beat a dead horse. If it isn't working be flexible in location, spoon size and color. There is a definite advantage to the angler that's out on the water frequently. Bait shops and other anglers may provide good information to narrow your quest. A temperature gauge and notebook is also reliable data for future trips. You may find the lures discussed in this article at http://www.badgertackle.com Good Luck let's go fishing!! Come back to this Website often to read all my articles. Jim charters out of Milwaukee, WI. with Blue Max Charters. He can be reached at 414-828-1094. Summer I will be out on the lake fighting fish, however, I would appreciate a call over winter to chat about whatever questions you may have or just call and say hello. You may also visit my web site at http://www.bluemaxcharters.com Copyright© 2008, James J. Hirt, All Rights Reserved.

  4. #54
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    Default Fishing Lures For Spring and Summer

    Fishing Lures For Spring and Summer

    By Capt. Jim Hirt
    For years I investigated through trial and error to find bait for all species of fish in all conditions. Twenty plus years of tournament and charter fishing has led me to one conclusion. There is no one bait that will take you through the year with all variables of weather and mood of the fish. In this quest I found it would take a variety of lure actions to be successful. Allow me to help you approach each season of the year and weather conditions with the optimum tool for productive fishing. I fish salmon and trout more than any other species, however, these techniques and variables apply to all fish that go through continuous environmental changes.
    Let's start with spring or directly after ice goes out, if that happens in your area of the world. The problem with this time of the year is water temperature. Fish become lethargic and inactive. Cold water means temps well below the active range of your target. Apply this method whenever a more aggressive approach fails. The answer to cold water is a slow methodical approach. Small spoons are the answer. They offer more flash and visibility than live bait or combinations of jigs and live bait. This deadly presentation is most effective when slow trolled, jigged or offered in a stop and go action. Small spoons allow better lure action at slower speeds. Matching the size of the forage is the key. When you don't know the best size to use, start with spoons under two inches. This should offer some fish catching action on all size game fish. Bigger spoons will rule out the small fish and the larger game fish may not be active. Bright colored spoons of chartreuse, orange and red in combination with silver or gold has always worked for me. As action on small fish picks up try a bigger spoon to test the water for larger quarry.
    As spring water warms up closer to your favorite game fish preferred temperature, that is when the real fun gets into gear. Action will pick up for all anglers. Don't hold back! Get out the bigger spoons and more aggressive tackle. Pick up the speed of your presentation for more strikes. The color of your spoon at this time of year is dependant more on water color, amount of light and the depth of your target. This is a good time to talk about color as it relates to the amount of light. You may or may not remember learning the colors of the rainbow in school. The colors are remembered by this acronym "ROY G BIV". These letters mean red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet. Most of the time I run lure colors of red, orange, or yellow when that lure is presented in the portion of the water column with the most light. The other end of the rainbow blue, indigo and violet are used in darker or low light situations. You may ask what about silver and white? I consider these as neutral or they will work in any type of light. All the other colors fall into either bright or dark. Bright lures are used in bright light conditions dark lures in low light. In most cases larger spoons will net the more aggressive feeders.
    Specifics on the exact spoon for your location are and always will be a difficult task. Please allow me to tell you of a product I developed over the last five years. It added 40% more fish to our catch based on 1950 miles of motor trolling during the last season. I am on the water from early April to late October and I needed a
    go to spoon to meet the ever changing conditions. Daunting as this may seem three spoons evolved. For early spring the small size Nestor Wobbler is productive. Now you can have crank bait action in a spoon. Unique wobble action is the key to catching finicky fish. No other spoon offers this vibrating action. With genuine silver plate fish scale finish, this spoon reflects more light to attract fish from greater distances. With multiple holes in the lip you may select a wobble from fast to slow. It's perfect for trolling, casting or jigging. The bigger size works well for large game fish and faster presentation. You may find this lure at http://www.badgertackle.com I will continue with the rest of the year in the next article. Good Luck let's go fishing!! Come back to this Website often to read all my articles. Jim charters out of Milwaukee, WI. with Blue Max Charters. He can be reached at 414-828-1094. Summer I will be out on the lake fighting fish, however, I would appreciate a call over winter to chat about whatever questions you may have or just call and say hello. You may also visit my web site at http://www.bluemaxcharters.com Copyright© 2007, James J. Hirt, All Rights Reserved.

  5. #53
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    Default Salmon Fishing, Rigging An Eighteen Foot Boat #3

    Salmon Fishing, Rigging An Eighteen Foot Boat #3

    By Capt. Jim Hirt
    This article continues answering a recent question asked by a reader of my articles. It will cover the basics in what you need for fishing tackle and proper boat set up. We have already covered in article #1 the boat, electronics, downriggers and rod holders. Article #2 rods, reels and diving planers. Let's now go into tackle not previously covered.
    Planer boards are a definite must for trolling any kind of fish. I use them April through October. Being flexible on the slow days is the answer to more fish. It is a fisherman with a full arsenal of presentations that finds action when fishing gets tough. The hot rig for the last several years has been leadcore. With the influx of Zebra Muscles the waters of the Great Lakes have become very clear. In my opinion the toughest conditions are calm clear sunny days. On these types of days leadcore is the way to go. I do not recommend this presentation for first light it is far to time consuming to run during a hot bite. After the early morning bite or about two hours after sunrise I break out the leadcore. The basics are reel, rod, line and planer board. The cost of a rig will start at about $150.
    The reel you use is based on the amount of leadcore line you want to run. The rule of thumb is 4-5 feet of depth to every color of leadcore. When your target fish is 15 feet down you should run 3 or 4 colors of leadcore. Some of you may be thinking why is there a variation of 4 to 5 feet per color. The factors that affect this are type of lure and boat speed. This line is graduated in 10-yard sections each having a different color. When selecting a reel purchase one large enough to handle the amount of colors you would like to run. Leadcore is a bulky line and most likely will not fit on the reels you are currently using. Find a tackle store that deals with this product to ensure a correct purchase. Popular set ups are 3 colors, 5 colors and 8 colors.
    Rods for leadcore need to have plenty of backbone. I use a medium action 8-foot rod. This should give you the power needed to reel in 500 feet of line, planer board and 20-pound kings.
    The line comes in many test weights. 27 or 36 pound is what I run it all has the same sink rate. You will also need a backing line of one of the super lines like Power Pro. From the leadcore to the lure use a 20-pound fluorocarbon line.
    To avoid tangles when running multiple leadcore you will need a planer board for each rig. The purpose of a planer board is to move the line off to the side of the boat away from other lines. Several manufactures have boards for leadcore. Church has a walleye board also you may use Offshore boards.
    When loading this reel, start with 300 yards 50 pound Power Pro for a backing line then strip the lead out of the end of the leadcore and tie a Willis Knot to the leadcore. Finish with a Willis Knot and 30 feet of a 20-pound fluorocarbon to a ball bearing cross lock snap.
    To run this rig, snap on your favorite lure I like Reaper or Vulcan Spoons by http://www.badgertackle.com and let out all of the line to the backing. Then install your board on the backing so it does not release. I usually run them 150 feet off each side of the boat. Very wide turns and low boat traffic are a must to avoid tangles and getting run over. I set my drags light. When the reel starts to scream, adjust the drag as necessary. Reel in the line until you can reach the board and hand release it. Now the line is clear to bring in the fish. Some of my biggest fish were caught on this presentation this year. The good news is it produces fish all day long. Good Luck let's go fishing!! Come back to this Website often to read all my articles. Jim charters out of Milwaukee, WI. with Blue Max Charters. He can be reached at 414-828-1094. Summer I will be out on the lake fighting fish, however, I would appreciate a call over winter to chat about whatever questions you may have or just call and say hello. You may also visit my web site at http://www.bluemaxcharters.com Copyright© 2007, James J. Hirt, All Rights Reserved.

  6. #52
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    Default New Electronics The Answer To More Fish

    New Electronics The Answer To More Fish

    By Capt. Jim Hirt
    New electronics come into the market place all the time. Most are a duplication of other products that you already have. Once in a dogs age a truly innovative addition to your fishing arsenal shows up. Now is the time for you to get ahead of the pack. I truly believe the "Acoustic Lure Tracking" System is the answer to total control of your fishing program. Please read this article for details of this new exciting product.
    This fishing season I had an opportunity to fish out of Milwaukee, with Darrell Huff and his team of technicians. The fishing was excellent and all caught a good number of salmon and trout. We had a great experience exchanging fishing stories and enjoying the time on Lake Michigan. The reason Darrell came out to fish was to introduce me to the ALT (Acoustic Lure Tracking system) and I was impressed. It was simple to use and very accurate. In 26 years of motor trolling for salmon and trout I have seen many advances in electronics. The ALT will revolutionize the way you fish and keep you in the most productive zone for more fish. In the process of motor trolling for salmon I use twelve to sixteen rods in various presentations and depths. The problem with motor trolling with this amount of tackle is keeping track of all the lures. You must know their position relative to your target species and keep them from hanging up on the bottom when following a bottom contour or any other fish holding formation or temperature. Most anglers have a fish locator to show them fish, but the quest is precise tracking and locating of lures in the most productive temperatures and fish rich zones. Finally the answer has arrived to make everyone an expert in lure control whether you fish with one or many fishing lures. The ALT is an electronic system that will tell you exactly how deep and at what temperature you are trolling a lure, cut bait or live bait. This system has the ability to monitor one lure (if used with one transmitter) or two lures (if used with two transmitters) and is very easy to use. Simply attach the hydrophone and planer to a cleat ten feet or so ahead of the transom and lower the end attached to the planer into the water. Then plug the hydrophone into the receiver. The acoustic transmitter is attached in line between your leader and lure, cut bait or live bait. The transmitter is so small (0.6 inch diameter) and virtually weightless in water that it does not affect your lure action or the feel of the lure and is not noticeable at all when fighting a fish.
    Here is how the Acoustic Lure Tracking system works. The acoustic transmitter incorporates tiny sensors and circuits that monitor the water pressure (used to determine depth) and the water's temperature. Every 10 to 15 seconds the transmitter sends an encoded acoustic signal through the water to the hydrophone. The hydrophone converts it to an electrical signal the receiver reads the electrical signal and displays the transmitter's depth and water temperature data as feet and degrees Fahrenheit. Since the transmitter is attached to your fishing line you can fish straight off the back of the boat or attach your line to a downrigger, diving planer, outrigger or planer boards in the usual manner. It works great at depths down to 300 feet and speeds of up to 4.5 miles per hour and with over 100 yards of line out.
    My experience with the Acoustic Lure Tracking System has convinced me that without it you are fishing blind. Now is the time to get in on cutting edge technology and a step ahead of the competition. Tournament, charter, professional and everyday fishermen will find this is their best tool to track their lures and keep them in the fish rich zones. To see pictures and purchase this exciting product go to the ALT Web site at http://www.acousticluretracking.com or call Darrell at (443) 262-1269 to ask questions or purchase this exciting new product. Good Luck let's go fishing! Jim charters out of Milwaukee, WI. with Blue Max Charters. Jim can be reached at 414-828-1094 or visit his web site at http://www.bluemaxcharters.com Copyright© 2007, James J. Hirt, All Rights Reserved.

  7. #51
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    Default Salmon Fishing, Rigging An Eighteen Foot Boat #2

    Salmon Fishing, Rigging An Eighteen Foot Boat #2

    By Capt. Jim Hirt
    This article continues answering a recent question asked by a reader of my articles. It will cover the basics in what you need for fishing tackle and proper boat set up. We have already covered in article #1 the boat, electronics, downriggers and rod holders. Let's now go into tackle.
    Tackle includes the rods, reels and all the support equipment to offer a wide variety of presentations for all fishing conditions. All anglers have a limitation of the amount of tackle they can purchase and keep on the boat. The right mix to cover all situations is key to success. In the state of Wisconsin we are allowed three rods per person and would max out to that number whenever possible. All planer board or leadcore presentations will catch fish every trip out and this is worth considering. This method of fishing calls for long lines behind the boat, which is very effective but cannot be run in heavy boat traffic. I will cover that in the next article. A downrigger and Slide Diver set up will offer many options in all fishing conditions and may be a better choice.
    Purchase four 8-foot medium action trolling rods. They will give you all the versatility and power you need no matter which directions you go. There are good quality fiberglass rods starting a $35 each. Line counter trolling reels are important to precision and don't cost much more than reels without line counters. Look for quality based on the amount of times you expect to use them each season. A basic bushing or one ball bearing reel is affordable and will last a long time with good maintenance. A $50 reel that will hold 300 yards of 20 pound test has the capacity for a half core of lead and all of the mono or fluorocarbon set ups you may want to try down the road. For the budget minded, spool up with 20 lb Berkley Trilene XT ($7) monofilament. A slightly more expensive but worth it option is to try the advantages of fluorocarbon line. The low stretch near invisible Seaguar Invizx ($20) will put more fish in the cooler. Types of presentations are endless and the average fisherman couldn't include all the options. The key here is where the fish are located. You must be able to fish at all depths. Many anglers are now fishing with super braid it is very expensive but worth the money. If your budget allows, rather than mono, set up all four rods with 50 pound Power Pro super braid. Going this direction will allow the most flexibility and adaptability going forward through the season.
    Support equipment includes the tools necessary to offer spoons, bait or lures at all potential depths. Most boats run diving planers like Dipsy Divers, Slide Divers, Deep Sixes and similar divers. This is a very simple tool that is not used to its full potential by most fishermen. Start with a clear mono or fluorocarbon 25-pound line one and a half times the length of the rod you are using. On one end tie a size 75 pound cross lock snap to attach the lure. Tie the other end to a snubber. They come in many colors. I prefer a clear product made by Opti-Dodger. The snubber will absorb the shock of the strike and set the hook. The snubber is then attached to the diver. On the release side of the diver tie your line from the rod. You can use a variety of different lines. The standard set up is 20 to 30 pound mono. Some other options are 30-pound Microfilament, Uni-filament and stranded wire. The benefits of these options are the smaller diameter of these products allow the diver to reach greater depths. An 8 foot medium heavy action rod with a line counter reel completes this rig. They are often called poor man's downriggers. When asked by beginning trollers on what to buy I always recommend two diver rigs. They will take lures to a prescribed depth and repeat it over and over again. More on support equipment in the next article. Good Luck let's go fishing!! Come back to this website often to read all my articles. Jim charters out of Milwaukee, WI. with Blue Max Charters. He can be reached at 414-828-1094. Summer I will be out on the lake fighting fish, however, I would appreciate a call over winter to chat about whatever questions you may have or just call and say hello. You may also visit my web site at http://www.bluemaxcharters.com Copyright© 2007, James J. Hirt, All Rights Reserved.

  8. #50
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    Default Salmon Fishing, Rigging An Eighteen Foot Boat #1

    Salmon Fishing, Rigging An Eighteen Foot Boat #1

    By Capt. Jim Hirt
    This article addresses a recent question asked by a reader of my articles. It will cover the basics in what you need for fishing tackle and proper boat set up. I will avoid as much as I can any brands of equipment and let you be the judge. As with all equipment quality and price go with the passion and budget you have for the sport.
    Finding a good heavy duty eighteen foot boat and motor should be no problem as there are many manufactures to choose from. Go with a brand name and do your homework. Make some contacts with the local salmon fishing club. This is invaluable information on one of the most important purchases in your quest for trophy salmon and trout. Be sure to ask several anglers how long they have owned their boat how often they fish and the lake conditions they fish in. It will give you an idea of the limitations of this vessel. The number of anglers they fish out of their boat is also good to know.
    I would like to approach what I call the minimum requirements and split it into two subjects. First we shall discuss hardware this covers electronics, downriggers and other items attached to the boat.
    A staple on every salmon boat is undoubtedly the downrigger. Two four foot manual units are all you need mounted one on each corner of the transom. Four foot will give you a better spread of tackle and avoid tangles. Mounting of this and all the hardware can be a rather daunting task. Some anglers like an aluminum board permanently mounted with the end result a very clean look of all necessary components. For first timers to salmon fishing and a cost saving use a 2x6 piece of outdoor lumber. Mounting is easy and you may reposition hardware at will until you come up with an efficient system.
    Some may disagree but in my opinion the fish locator is not the most important electronics on the boat. For this reason don't spend a wad of cash on one. A basic unit with enough power to operate at depths to three hundred feet is all you need. Find one with large numeric display of depth for easy reading in low light and when running at high speed. Mount this unit on the transom board for easy access to information, which is necessary in positioning downriggers and other tackle.
    Rod holders are a necessity. The number of them is relative to how many rods you intend to run. Downriggers usually come with two rod holders each and two additional heavy duty stand alone units will get by.
    Lets now talk about what is considered by many the most important electronics for producing fish. The speed and temperature gauge is a must have. By installing this gauge on the downrigger cable you will know the exact speed and temperature at your lure. I will offer what is now the best reliable tool for this purpose it is made by Depth Raider. These two factors for trolling for salmon are the most critical to presentation and catching fish. The best spoon at the wrong speed will not work. On the other hand twenty five years of salmon fishing has proven that most lures will catch fish when run correctly. Temperature of water your spoon is in will make the difference of a heavy cooler or the skunk.
    A marine radio in a hand held or permanently mount unit is a good way to get information on weather or where the other anglers are finding fish. It will also give you a way to call for help if needed.
    More on this subject in Salmon Fishing, Rigging An Eighteen Foot Boat #2. Good Luck let's go fishing! Jim charters out of Milwaukee, WI. with Blue Max Charters. He can be reached at 414-828-1094 or visit his web site at http://www.bluemaxcharters.com Copyright© 2007, James J. Hirt, All Rights Reserved.

  9. #49
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
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    Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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    Default Midday Salmon Fishing Techniques Milwaukee #2

    Midday Salmon Fishing Techniques Milwaukee #2

    By Capt. Jim Hirt
    When the sun goes up the fishing action slows down. If this is the way fishing outings go for you please read on to discover some of the proven techniques used by charter captains. Chartering with six people on board is a numbers game. Steady action will entertain the group and more happy customers will follow.
    Allow me to share a few presentations for a midday or late morning. Don't get me wrong you won't rock n roll like a first light bite but steady action will increase the numbers in the fish cooler. Two setups come to mind when fishing bright light, calm waters and clear blue bird skies. Lake Michigan Milwaukee water is gin clear and the action can die in a hurry on the clear sky days. First and foremost you must get away from the boat to water undisturbed by conventional tackle. Stealth is the way to go for an all day bite here's how.
    The last article was set up and use of leadcore. For the angler with out the budget or space on the boat for 15 rods as I do here is a very simple and inexpensive answer. Some of you may use this technique to some degree of success I have taken it to a new level. This method of presentation will improve your catch by fifty percent.
    Downriggers are one of the oldest most used and most productive tools used for salmon and trout on the Great Lakes. Their potential for putting fish in the cooler is undisputed. As with any tool proper usage is the answer to success. A common question I receive from fellow fishermen is how long do you run your drop back leader? This is the length of line between your lure and the downrigger weight. This one item will make the difference of a few fish or steady action. The variables on the length of drop back leader are dictated by many factors. The four most important that I consider are type of lure, amount of light at the presentation, the color of the water and the mood of the fish. The main types of lures fall into three categories spoons, rotators (flashers, dodgers) and plugs. Each of these has it’s own qualities that come out when run with the proper leader length. Spoons are the most forgiving and will do their job on a leader as short as 10 feet although I seldom run them that short unless I am fishing in stained or very deep water. On average 30 feet is a good leader length depending on the other variables. Rotators are another animal. Each type has its own characteristics on average a 20 foot leader is best. The leader length on plugs like spoons aren’t as critical. Twenty feet is a good place to start. The amount of light at the lure will also change your leader length. As a general rule the more light the longer the leader. On calm clear days midday with lots of sun 150-foot leaders will catch fish when a short leader presentation is dead. Fluorocarbon fishing line will also greatly enhance the total number of fish in the boat. I recommend Seaguar Invizx twenty pound for a soft durable fishing line invisible to fish. Mood of fish is also to be considered. Short leaders produce a more erratic action and may turn fish on or off. When setting tackle try some short and some long to get a feel for the mood of the fish. When the bite slows down, change the leader length of the best producing lures to keep the rods dancing. To run this rig, snap on your favorite lure I like Reaper or Vulcan Spoons by http://www.badgertackle.com Good Luck let's go fishing! Jim charters out of Milwaukee, WI. with Blue Max Charters. He can be reached at 414-828-1094 or visit his web site at http://www.bluemaxcharters.com Copyright© 2007, James J. Hirt, All Rights Reserved.

  10. #48
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Milwaukee, Wisconsin
    Posts
    214
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    1

    Default Midday Salmon Fishing Techniques Milwaukee #1

    Midday Salmon Fishing Techniques Milwaukee #1

    By Capt. Jim Hirt
    When the sun goes up the fishing action slows down. If this is the way fishing outings go for you please read on to discover some of the proven techniques used by charter captains. Chartering with six people on board is a numbers game. Steady action will entertain the group and more happy customers will follow.
    Allow me to share a few presentations for a midday or late morning. Don't get me wrong you won't rock n roll like a first light bite but steady action will increase the numbers in the fish cooler. Three setups come to mind when fishing bright light, calm waters and clear blue bird skies. Lake Michigan Milwaukee water is gin clear and the action can die in a hurry on the clear sky days. First and foremost you must get away from the boat to water undisturbed by conventional tackle. Stealth is the way to go for an all day bite here's how.
    A major improvement and steady producer for me is leadcore on boards. I do not recommend this presentation for first light it is far to time consuming to run during a hot bite. After the early morning bite or about two hours after sunrise I break out the leadcore. The basics are reel, rod, line and planer board. The reel you use is based on the amount of leadcore line you want to run. The rule of thumb is 4-5 feet of depth to every color of leadcore. When your target fish is 15 feet down you should run 3 or 4 colors of leadcore. Some of you may be thinking why is there a variation of 4 to 5 feet per color. The factors that affect this are type of lure and boat speed. This line is graduated in 10-yard sections each having a different color. When selecting a reel purchase one large enough to handle the amount of colors you would like to run. Leadcore is a bulky line and most likely will not fit on the reels you are currently using. Find a tackle store that deals with this product to ensure a correct purchase. Popular set ups are 3 colors, 5 colors and 8 colors.
    Rods for leadcore need to have plenty of backbone. I use a heavy action 8-foot rod. This should give you the power needed to reel in 500 feet of line, planer board and 20-pound kings.
    The line comes in many test weights. 27 or 36 pound is what I run it all has the same sink rate. You will also need a backing line of one of the super lines like Power Pro. From the leadcore to the lure use a 20-pound fluorocarbon line.
    To avoid tangles when running multiple leadcores you will need a planer board for each rig. The purpose of a planer board is to move the line off to the side of the boat away from other lines. Several manufactures have boards for leadcore. Church has a walleye board also you may use Offshore boards.
    When loading this reel, start with 300 yards 50 pound Power Pro for a backing line then strip the lead out of the end of the leadcore and tie a Willis Knot to the leadcore. Finish with a Willis Knot and 30 feet of a 20-pound fluorocarbon to a ball bearing cross lock snap.
    To run this rig, snap on your favorite lure I like Reaper or Vulcan Spoons by http://www.badgertackle.com and let out all of the line to the backing. Then install your board on the backing so it does not release. I usually run them 150 feet off each side of the boat. More information on this subject in Midday Salmon Fishing Techniques Milwaukee #2. Good Luck let's go fishing! Jim charters out of Milwaukee, WI. with Blue Max Charters. He can be reached at 414-828-1094 or visit his web site at http://www.bluemaxcharters.com Copyright© 2007, James J. Hirt, All Rights Reserved.

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